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In Loving Memory

Berkbigler, Susan “Susie” Marlene (nee Klein)

May 14, 1946 - August 24, 2023


(nee Klein); Baptized into the hope of Christ’s resurrection, Susie went peacefully home to Jesus on the morning of August 24th, 2023.

Born on May 14,1946 in St. Louis, Missouri to Robert and Laura Lee Fritschle, Susie was soon the proud big sister to a brother, Bud. Following her parents’ divorce in the 1950’s, Susie and Bud were jointly raised by their mother, Laura, and their paternal grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew (Jean) Klein in a beautiful home in the historic Compton Heights neighborhood in St. Louis.

Susie enjoyed summers in Florida with her family as she blossomed into a joyful, outgoing young woman, proudly graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1964. During her Roosevelt years, she enjoyed chess club and competed on the bowling team, meeting many lifelong friends including her closest friend, Mary Chastain. She matriculated to Washington University where her father, Andrew, had excelled as an Olympic swimmer. She was a proud member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.

Susie met the love of her life, Bill Berkbigler, when she and her longtime friend, Shirley Strobinger, chanced to show up at Schneithorst Drive-In Restaurant after a SLU basketball game. Bill asked Susie if he could buy her a beer and so began their great love affair. They were married on July 2,1967 in a small ceremony at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish, surrounded by family and friends. Mr. and Mrs. William Berkbigler enjoyed a simple honeymoon at the Lodge of the Four Seasons in the Lake of the Ozarks. Together they built a life full of love, welcoming two daughters, Kelly Lynn and Kerry Ann. Susie and Bill carefully juggled raising their girls while building their careers.

In the 70’s Susie saw an exciting future in computer science burgeoning at McDonnell Douglas, so she returned to Washington University School of Engineering where she proudly completed her degree in 1986.

Shortly thereafter, Bill’s career took the family to Kansas City, Kansas then Richmond, Virginia and ultimately back home to St. Louis. Throughout their transitions, Susie easily assimilated into new companies and effortlessly stepped into various volunteer opportunities, satisfying her love of serving others. Susie was best known for never having met a stranger – wherever she traveled, she picked up lifelong friends with her magic way of making people feel special and loved. Some of her fondest memories were made with her dear friends and co-workers at Edward Jones from where she reluctantly retired in 2020.

After retirement Susie balanced her many activities with the loving attention and tender care she gave to her mother, Laura. Together they enjoyed viewing Cardinals’ games, watching the Hallmark Channel and checking out the birds who gathered at the feeder. After caring for her mother in her home for years, Susie then became a favorite visitor at the nursing home where Laura moved.

Never a good judge of character or cuisine, Susie loved everyone and everything. As a result, she was often the life of the party, chatting and dancing and hugging with all she had. She lived a life filled to the brim with activity – over the years, she was an active member of PTAs, Booster Clubs, her local parishes, Roosevelt Rough Riders Alumni, Junior Achievement and Toastmasters International. She brought her contagious spirit to countless concerts, plays, Chiefs and Cardinals games. She loved to exercise and often mixed her fitness quest with charitable endeavors, raising money for Pedal the Cause, and completing numerous 10k’s and triathlons, as well as 3 marathons. She even found joy just walking circles in the basement during a snowstorm to get her 10,000 steps in,  tracked over the years by her numerous Fitbits and smartwatches.

One of Susie’s greatest loves was for children. She radiated a childlike spirit and connected with them on a deeper level than most.

She not only cherished her own girls, Kelly and Kerry, of whom she was so very proud but she also served as the greatest role model as a loving mother, successful career woman and guide for raising kind and joyful children of Christ.

She praised her grandchildren, Kelly’s triplets, Megan, Lauren, Connor, helping to get them to school when their mom was working. She attended their activities, grandparents’ days, sporting events and musical performances over the years in St. Louis. She lovingly nurtured Kerry’s Weston and Adeline from afar, celebrating all of her younger grandchildren’s major milestones.

And she was always there for her nieces, nephews, children of her closest friends and the countless number of young people she taught about God, serving many years as a PSR teacher at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish.

In her final days there was no earthly love deeper than that for her husband and partner, Bill, who stood by her side for over 56 years. Throughout her life, she faithfully followed God. After 77 years of Susie being loaned out to all those who loved and needed her, her Lord and Savior welcomed her into His kingdom.

Susie was preceded in death by her father, Mr. Robert Fritschle, her grandparents, Dr. Andrew (Jean) Klein and Lillian McDaniel, and her brother, Robert “Bud” Klein.

She is survived by her mother, Laura Lee Taylor, husband William “Bill” Berkbigler, daughters Dr. Kelly Ross, Kerry Ayers (Daniel), her five grandchildren, Megan, Lauren & Connor Ross, and Weston & Adeline Ayers, her half-siblings and their spouses in the Taylor and Fritchle families, her in-laws in the Berkbigler family, countless nieces, nephews and friends.

Services: Visitation on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023, 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Kutis South County, 5255 Lemay Ferry Rd, St. Louis, MO, 63129.  Funeral mass on Thursday, August 31st, 11:00am, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Catholic Church, 4900 Ringer Rd, St. Louis, MO, 63129, followed by a luncheon in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pedal The Cause, Susie is riding in spirit again this year:  https://www.mypedalthecause.org/riders_profile.jsp?MemberID=2191


14 thoughts on “Berkbigler, Susan “Susie” Marlene (nee Klein)”

  1. I am so sorry to hear of Susan’s passing. She was truly a kind and caring person. It always brightened my day when I had the chance to visit with her at work.

  2. So sad to hear. I loved working with Susan at Edward Jones and going to Toastmasters with her. She will be greatly missed.

  3. I will lovingly remember times spent with Susan and Bd when we were children, especially playing penny poker while grandma and grandpa Doc were out for the evening. Many years passed after those days until we were together again at family functions hosted by my sister Lea. Rest In Peace Susan, ❤️, m

  4. Susie worked in the Engineering Department at McDonnell Douglas and brought joy and a feeling of loving life to all of us. No one laughed more or had more fun than Susie. Being older than she, I am shocked that she is gone too soon but know that she will bring as much happiness to heaven as she brought to our company.

  5. The world lost a wonderful, kind, loving woman. Susan and I became friends many, many years ago and remained in contact over time. She always had a smile and possessed a radiant warmth. I will miss you, my dear friend.

  6. Fly high my friend and soar with the Eagles! Thank you for your friendship. God certainly blessed me when HE allowed us to cross paths my first few days with Edward Jones. You knew no stranger and made each of us feel like a genuine friend. Your spark and energy was amazing and appreciated by anyone who came in contact with you. You deserve this resting period so only ride once or twice around those golden streets, okay. You will be missed. May God grant his mercies of comfort, peace and understanding to all your family and countless friends at this most difficult time. P.S. Save me a seat at HIS table, please!

  7. So very sad and sorry to hear of Susan’s untimely passing. We went to RHS together and I vividly remember having so much fun.
    Many condolences and sincere sympathies to her family and friends. God bless you and now has you in His loving arms.

  8. We all lost a truly bright star with Susan’s passing. We worked together at Edward Jones on the IS Fun Committee. Her smile always radiating warmth and welcome to all. I’ll see you again in heaven. May the Lord lift hold your family tight while you cannot.

  9. I am so sad to hear of Susan’s passing. She had such a fun-loving, infectious spirit. Her personality lit up a room and lifted all. I will miss her very much. My condolences to her family. RIP Susan.

  10. Susan was an amazing woman. She had a very kind spirit and was fun to work with. Her energy and enthusiasm was never in doubt. We are surely missing our angel here on earth, but I am sure she will keep an eye on all of us.
    I worked with Susan at Edward Jones

  11. So sorry and sad to hear Susie has passed. I worked with her many years ago at McDonnell Douglas Automation Co in 1981 and we became such great friends. She was pure joy … one of the sweetest people I ever met … loved by all for her positive, upbeat personality. She was one of a kind!! My condolences to her family as I can only imagine your pain. God Bless.


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